Regular readers know that if SMQ has a loosely-defined crusade to justify lobbing virtual Molotov cocktails, it is for a playoff and against the BCS cartel, against which no opportunities should be wasted, no allies turned away. So, in the spirit of la Résistance, welcome to the fight, Pete Carroll:
I'm not saying that's us. But there are teams out there - and we'e one of them - that could arguably be able to beat any team in America when the time comes...We're playing the game to see how far we go and how far we can take it.
The only way you get it perfect is to play 'em off...There's a lot of time in between these bowl games, you know, and when the season ends. there's a lot of time we wait to play games. There's a few weeks in there now. We could do some playing there, still play some games and then have bowl games.
- - -
(HT: L.A. Times "All Things Trojan" blogger Adam Rose)
Carroll reacts to the BCS: Give ‘em hell, Pete.
- - -
Mergz at Saurian Sagacity is also right that the Trojans are not playing the best football in America at the moment, having won close games over mediocre opponents Oregon State and Cal before finally, satisfactorily pounding suspicious frontrunner Arizona State last week, and any projections of the grandeur all foresaw at the beginning of the season to majestically unfurl at the end (apparently Kirk Herbstreit falls into this category) are severely premature, and wholly inadequate for atoning for SC's earlier defeat to Stanford, which is every bit as damaging now as it looked at the time. If there is a solid argument against a tournament, that's it: should a team that somehow managed to lose to the last place team in its conference have a chance to re-emerge as a national champion? Pete Carroll obviously thinks so, and if push comes to shove, so do I, given the current alternative. Plowing through the rest of the conference and then a top-tier three or four-game playoff bracket is a hell of an act of penance.
When he starts talking about being "able to beat any team in America when the time comes," though, he should remember that the ability to beat any team and the ability to lose to any team are not mutually exclusive. "The best" is a fleeting concept.